Fresh and hearty kale salads are the perfect summer lunch to fill you up and keep you cool! I toss mine with a delicious homemade green goddess vinaigrette.
It has been so hot here in Delaware the past few weeks – 90º and humid just about every single day. I’m not complaining because I’ll take that over snow and subzero temps any day! However, when it’s hot I have to force myself to eat (ok, not really) let alone cook. Salads are always my go-to in the summer since they fill me up and help me stay cool! Plus, you can make a big bowl of salad, keep it in the fridge and just grab some whenever you’re hungry.
For this particular salad I decided to use kale. I’ve been obsessed with kale salads – something I never thought I’d be into. Now, if eating a big heaping bowl of raw kale doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry. I promise you it’s good as long as you follow a few tips!
The most important part of making a kale salad is that you must massage the kale. This step is what takes away that slightly bitter flavor as well as makes the leaves more tender. All you have to do is grab handfuls of your clean (de-stemmed and chopped) kale and squeeze until it sort of has a cooked appearance. Then, once you have all of the kale massaged you’ll want to add some dressing and massage that in.
Once you have that done you can toss in your other salad ingredients and let it sit and marinate in the fridge. That’s the great thing about using kale in salads – it’s such a hearty green that it doesn’t wilt like more delicate lettuces. So, you can make a big batch and it will just get better and better as it marinates in the fridge.
Let’s talk dressing. I’ve been obsessed with green goddess dressing lately. I used a thicker, more traditional-style in my salmon burger recipe. I don’t love thick dressings on my salads, though – I’m definitely more of a vinaigrette fan. Solution? Make a green goddess vinaigrette!
Basically, I make a basic vinaigrette and then add all of the flavor components of a traditional green goddess dressing. To add just a little bit of creaminess I mix in a teaspoon of greek yogurt. This dressing is pure perfection!
If you’re trying to beat the heat this summer make a kale salad! You won’t be disappointed!
- 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Honey
- 1 Teaspoon Greek Yogurt
- 1 Anchovy Filet, finely minced
- 1 Garlic Clove, pressed or finely minced
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Mixed Fresh Herbs, chopped (I used a mixture of tarragon, chives, and parsley)
- 6 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 Cups Stemmed and Chopped Kale, from 1 bunch
- 1 Bunch Cooked Asparagus, cooled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 ½ Cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 1 Cup Hearts of Palm, chopped
- 1 Large Stalk Celery, chopped
- 2 Slices Thick Cut Bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 Cooked Chicken Breasts, cut into cubes
- In a mason jar, combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients. Place the lid on the jar tightly and shake it until the dressing is well combined.
- Add the kale to a large bowl and begin massaging it between your hands – grabbing handfuls and squeezing. The kale will reduce down a bit and have more of a cooked appearance. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette to the kale and massage it in.
- Toss in the asparagus, tomatoes, hearts of palm, and celery. Mix well and then cover and refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes.
- When you’re ready to serve, top the salad with the bacon pieces and chicken. Serve with the green goddess vinaigrette.